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Employment Skills

Leaving university with a good degree is important in the graduate employment market but this alone doesn't guarantee you a job. Most jobs will get hundreds of applications all from people with the same class of degree so how does an employer choose the best person?

It’s the skills and experience you have gained that will give you the edge over the other candidates. Analysis of years of national employer surveys suggests that the desired skills fall into four broad areas. These are the areas, some of the skills and ways in which you could develop them.

Self-reliance skills

Purposeful, focused, resourceful, a willingness to learn, decision maker and good at networking. Some of these skills could be developed through the Duke of Edinburgh Award, playing competitive sport, public speaking and amateur dramatics.

People skills

Team player, good listener, organised, co-operative, motivator, friendly. Having a part-time job, doing voluntary work, playing for a team and being a guide/scout leader would help build good people skills.

General employment skills

Problem-solving, flexibility, IT/computer literacy, numeracy, commitment and business acumen are necessary skills whatever your industry.

Young Enterprise Award, project work through studies, book club and being member of a local club or society would improve these skills.

Specialist skills

Specific occupational skills such as specialist relevant knowledge in languages or IT as well as technical skills in journalism, engineering, accounting and sales. Getting your European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), web design skills, first aid and NVQ qualification are all good ways to get specialist skills.

It’s also worth looking at how best to use the skills your degree subject will have given you on the Options with your subject pages on our desktop site.